23 February 2017

Movie Review - Queen of Katwe

Happy Thursday everyone! I'm back with a movie review! : ) I hope everyone is enjoying their week. So today I'll be focusing on the movie Queen of Katwe. It's a biopic about Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan girl who learns to play chess and becomes a Woman Candidate Master. 

Director: Mira Nair

  • Madina Nalwanga: Phiona Mutesi
  • David Oyelowo: Robert Katende
  • Lupita Nyong'o: Nakku Harriet
  • Martin Kabanza: Mugabi Brian 
  • Taryn Kyaze: Night 
  • Ronald Ssemaganda: Ivan 
  • Ethan Nazario: Benjamin 
  • Nikita Waligwa: Gloria 
  • Edgar Kanyike: Joseph 
  • Esther Tebandeke: Sara Katende
  • Peter Odeke: Mr. Barumba
Genre: Biographical/Drama

Rating: PG

Brief Plot Analysis: Queen of Katwe is a biographical movie based on the true story of Phiona becoming Uganda's best female chess player. Before learning to play chess, Phiona tries to unsuccessfully help her family as they are extremely impoverished. It's only when she meets Robert that she learns that she has a talent and passion for chess. In playing chess, Phiona learns a lot about herself, her community, and how she defines herself in terms of the rest of the world. 

Film Features: Everything about this movie was fantastic. I don't want to say it was my favorite part of the movie because it was depressing; however, I think the authenticity of the setting made the movie. It gave great insight to the slums of Uganda and how people who lived in these slums attempted to function on a day to day basis. It was heartbreaking, but it made me self-aware. I would literally look at the movie and look around me and realize how much I had as an individual and how blessed I was to have such a gateway to possessions and opportunities. Looking at the structure of the houses, how everyone dressed, etc just really set the atmosphere for the film. 

Characters: Ok I must admit that I'm a bit biased when it comes to this film. I absolutely love the actors and actresses that starred in the film so naturally I think they did a wonderful job re-creating these real life individuals. Of course, I favored and loved Phiona. She had the spirit, courage, and strength that isn't found in many people. I felt for her when she struggled with her identity. To compete in these competitions and see the wealth of your opponents and then having to come home to live in the slums is truly unfathomable. I understood how difficult that would be on anyone. The actress did such a wonderful job and she really made you connect with her character. Overall, I just think they were a great cast. 

Overall Thoughts: Overall, I LOVED this movie. The music was great, the characters were great, and the story was one that made you aware of the triumph of the human spirit. I was glad that I took the time to explore this movie because I didn't hear much about it in the media. It was only when I saw the title appear at my library that I ultimately decided to pick it up. I wish that more people knew about it and the story behind the movie. From my understanding, Phiona is still practicing chess and is hoping to one day achieve the title of Grand Master. I'll definitely be following her closely and if you haven't seen this movie yet I highly recommend it. 


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